Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information

The Governance of Long-Term Digital Information. IGI 2016 Benchmark. Information Governance Initiative. May 18, 2016. [PDF]
     “The critical role of digital . . .archives in ensuring the future accessibility of information with enduring value has taken a back seat to enhancing access to current and actively used materials. As a consequence, digital preservation remains largely experimental and replete with the risks . . . representing a time bomb that threatens the long-term viability of [digital archives].”

1. We have a problem. Nearly every organization has digital information they want to keep for 10 or more years.
2. The problem is technological, most often a storage problem.
3. The problem is business related. It is not related to just archives, libraries or museums. 
4. The problem is a legal problem. Legal requirements are the main reason organizations keep 
digital information longer than ten years
5. We know what we must do, but are we doing it? In a survey 97 percent said they are aware that digital information is at risk of obsolescence but three fourths are just thinking about it or have no strategy. Only 16% have a standards-based digital preservation system.
  • “Most records today are born digital."
  • Digital assets should be considered business-critical information and steps taken to keep them usable long into the future
  • Most organizations are not storing their long-term digital assets in a manner sufficient to ensure their long-term protection and accessibility.
How are they being kept? According to a survey:
  • Shared Network Drive                                68%
  • Business Applications (e.g. CRM, ERP)        52%
  • Enterprise Content Management System     47%
  • Disk or Tape Backup Systems                      44%
  • Records Management System                      43%
  • Application-specific Archiving (e.g. email)  33%
  • Removable Media (e.g. CD or USB)              22%
  • Enterprise Archiving System                       14%
  • Long-term Digital Preservation System        11%
  • Other                                                          9%
  • Commodity Cloud Storage (e.g. Amazon)      8%
  • I don't know                                                 1%

Where to start? Some recommendations:
  • Triage right now the materials that are in serious danger of being lost, damaged, or rendered inaccessible.
  • Conduct a formal assessment so that you can benefit from strategic planning and economies of scale.
  • Address the Past, Protect the Future
  • Catalog the Consequences of not being able to access and rely upon your own information
  • Build Your Rules for Protection and accessibility
  • Assess the IT Environment

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